Assessing Pedestrian Safety Levels Crossing Independence Boulevard in Charlotte, NC

Authors: Connor Klassen*, VHB
Topics: Transportation Geography, Urban Geography, Geographic Information Science and Systems
Keywords: Pedestrians, Bicycles, Crossings, Planning and Policy, Safety, Walkability
Session Type: Virtual Poster
Day: 4/10/2021
Start / End Time: 11:10 AM / 12:25 PM
Room: Virtual 51
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Throughout recent history, vehicular traffic has been prioritized over active forms of
transportation such as walking and bicycling. When a highway divides a once formally
connected patchwork of neighborhoods, the demand to cross the corridor increases
significantly to access employment opportunities, social connections, and necessities.
This study explores the Independence Boulevard corridor in Charlotte, North Carolina,
an 11.5-mile partially limited access expressway and median divided highway between
I-277 near uptown Charlotte and I-485 in Matthews. The research design uses a four-
part process involving crash data analysis, pedestrian activity modeling, transit
ridership investigation, and walkshed analysis. The methodological design is then used
in the context of Independence Boulevard as a case study. Crash data analysis
allowed for the identification of pedestrian crossing hotspots and areas of high safety
concern. The pedestrian activity model validated these hotspots through roadway
connectivity and employment density metrics to identify neighborhoods acting as
‘senders’ or ‘receivers’ across the corridor. Transit ridership analysis located high
frequency destinations and stops of regional importance. Lastly, walkshed analyses
allowed for potential recommendations to be simulated to calculate the impacts in
terms of the number of destinations and households accessible within a 10-minute
walkshed. This four-step approach aided in creating various short-term and long-term
recommendations to improve pedestrian safety across the Independence Boulevard

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